The Institute’s research program helps those interested in improving workers’ compensation systems by providing much-needed data and analyses that help answer these questions:
- How are workers’ compensation systems performing?
- How do various state systems compare?
- How can systems better meet workers’ needs?
- What factors are driving costs?
- What is the impact of legislative change on system outcomes?
- What are the possible consequences of proposed system changes?
- Are there alternative solutions that merit consideration? What are their consequences?
Too often, public policies are shaped by anecdote and emotion, not by objective evidence about current system performance or the consequences of proposed changes. As a result of WCRI research, policymakers and stakeholders can make information-based decisions that prove to be more enduring because they are more efficient, more equitable, and better designed to meet the needs of workers and employers. Specifically, WCRI research meets these important stakeholder needs:
- Measuring system results to encourage continuous improvement and move the system away from the historic cycle of crisis-reform-crisis that has frequently characterized workers’ compensation in the past.
- Examining disability and medical management by evaluating and measuring the outcomes of medical care. These studies provide regulators with information about managing workplace injuries, what regulatory barriers are unnecessary or counterproductive, and what regulatory protections are needed for injured workers to ensure quality outcomes. These studies also help guide business decisions.
- Identifying system features that improve performance or drive costs and quantifying their impact on system performance. These studies focus attention on system strengths and opportunities for improvement. They also provide lessons from successful states that other states may follow.